Q; If I hear "I'm so bored!" one more time, I'm going to lose it! How can I get my child to entertain herself?
Oh, what we mothers would give to feel bored again! I too often have to remind my kids that they have a home full of toys, dolls, crayons, and craft supplies, and access to the kid-friendly channels on the family TV. "Use 'em or lose 'em" is what I say. Still, transitioning into DIY boredom eradication is not easy at this age, so you might need to help.
With my youngest, Lila, 7, I plot out my daily schedule and show her where she fits into it. I'll plan one or two things (at specific times) that we can do together, like bake cupcakes, go to the library, or enjoy a DVD. And I also suggest a few things she can do on her own: write a book, build a castle, paint her toes. Then I make it clear that we're going to stick to the schedule -- for both our sakes. Usually, this works out just fine, without either of us bouncing off the walls.
Denene Millner is a mom of 2, stepmom of one, and author who has judgement-free advice for the trickiest kid behavior. "Kids rock, but moms rule," she says. Send Denene your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.